NWFL Weather Update!




You've probably heard of cold fronts before, right?


Just as it sounds, a cold front is the front line of a cold air mass moving through an area. Those usually bring the nastiest storms because they move quickly and cause warm air to rise as they move through an area - the perfect ingredients for severe weather. On a weather map, a cold front is depicted with the blue line of triangles pointing in the direction the cold air is moving.


Warm fronts move more slowly, and just like it sounds, are large areas of warm air moving into an area of colder air. They usually bring rain but can also bring storms. Because cold air is denser, it is harder for warm air to lift it, though, so severe storms are less likely than with cold fronts (but can still happen). On a weather map, a warm front is depicted with the red line of half circles.


Here's a visualization of how cold fronts and warm fronts work:




The weather we're getting today is the result of a stationary front. When you see the weather map and the front line has both blue triangles and red half-circles, that means it's stationary.


A stationary front is the transition area where two air masses meet but aren't really moving, or are pushing up against each other without either one taking over the other. Any time you have a mixing of air masses, you get storms.


Here's a great explainer on stationary fronts:



Unlike cold fronts that move quickly and warm fronts that move slowly, stationary fronts aren't moving much, which means they can hang around a while.


There are lots of online resources available to learn about the types of weather that impact our day-to-day lives! Below are just a few!


Know Your Weather Map! By the National Weather Service

Four-minute video by the Brits about air masses and fronts (older kids and adults)

Short video on fronts by UCAR’s Center for Science Education (for kids)

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